Modi, Merkel agree to collaborate on medical supplies

Amid a rapid escalation of the Covid-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged information on the steps being taken by the respective government to slow the spread of coronavirus during a telephone conversation on April 2.The two leaders shared views on the inadequate availability of medicines and medical equipment and agreed to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard. They also discussed the importance of international collaboration for fighting the crisis.

The German chancellor agreed with Prime Minister that the Covid-19 pandemic is a turning point in modern history, and offers an opportunity to forge a new vision of globalization focused on the shared interests of humanity, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.PM Modi informed the German chancellor about the recent Indian initiatives to disseminate simple yoga exercises and immunity-enhancing Ayurvedic remedies for people of the world. The Chancellor agreed that such practices could be very beneficial for enhancing psychological and physical health, especially under the present lockdown conditions.

The World Health Organization said global infections will eclipse one million with 50,000 deaths in a few days. “Over the past five weeks, we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases, reaching almost every country, territory, and area,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing at the organization’s Geneva headquarters.In Germany, 67,366 people have been infected, of which 732 have died as of April 2, according to the WHO. On March 30, the German government agreed an $808 billion package to mitigate the damage of the coronavirus outbreak. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said, “That’s a very big package with a lot of measures.” Germany would double the number of beds in its intensive care units, he added.

The Ifo economic institute said the country faced an unprecedented crisis due to the pandemic. “The costs will probably exceed everything known from economic crises or natural disasters in Germany in recent decades,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said in a statement.

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